Canadian Fine Art Gallery (CFA Gallery)

Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 10:00pm to Friday, October 2, 2015 - 12:00am

Associate Professor Jean-Christian Knaff (Illustration Program) has an exhibit with Claude Miceli, sculpture, opening October 1 at the Canadian Fine Art Gallery (CFA GALLERY), 108 Yorkville Avenue, Toronto.

Venue & Address: 
Canadian Fine Art Gallery 108 Yorkville Avenue Toronto, ON

OCAD University professor joins Black Canadian curators and critics at Biennale di Venezia

Black Canadian curators and critics (and international colleagues) in Venice
Friday, June 5, 2015 - 1:30pm

Criticism and Curatorial Practice professor Andrea Fatona joined other leading Black Canadian curators and critics on a unique four-day preview of the 56th Biennale di Venezia – one of the world’s most prestigious art shows.

Called Expanded Context, the expedition to Venice sought, Fatona explains, “to raise the profile of Black Canadians on the international art scene and to engage with global diasporic networks.” To that end, Fatona and her colleagues toured the Biennale and held meetings with partners from Nigeria’s Centre for Contemporary Art and the United Kingdom’s International Curators Forum.

What struck Fatona in Venice was the sheer number of Black artists included by the show’s artistic director, Okwui Enwezor. “Because of the event’s huge influence in the art world, it was thrilling to experience Enwezor’s inclusion of politics throughout, including discussions of labour, capital and the ongoing effects of colonialism.”

Supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council, Expanded Context arose from the ground-breaking State of Blackness conference Fatona convened in February 2014. “Travelling to the Biennale was a way to further our State of Blackness discussions,” Fatona says. Fatona is planning an international symposium in Toronto in fall 2015 to keep the momentum going, and she is looking towards another overseas research-and-networking group trip in 2017, when all the major European biennial art shows will occur in the same year.

Dot Tuer receives OCAD U Award for Distinguished Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity

Dot Tuer. Photo by Christina Gapic.
Friday, June 7, 2013 - 3:00pm

OCAD University recognized Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences and School of Interdisciplinary Studies Professor Dr. Dot Tuer with its 2013 Award for Distinguished Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity at the university’s convocation ceremony on Thursday, June 6.

The Award is conferred on the basis of a strong portfolio of research, scholarship and creative activity, and the impact that activity has had on the broad spectrum of art and design research and practice internationally. The award also recognizes contributions toward undergraduate and graduate research and scholarly training.

Dr. Tuer’s contribution of a critical voice to contemporary Canadian art that embraces historical and cultural breadth distinguishes her accomplishments as a scholar and teacher. As exemplified by her collection of essays, Mining the Media Archive (2005), her writings explore the artistic practices of new media, photography and performance in the larger context of the Americas, and the relationship of cultural expression to issues of colonialism, technology and social memory. In the past year, her curation of the highly regarded Art Gallery of Ontario exhibition Frida and Diego: Passion, Politics, and Painting represents a significant milestone of creative and scholarly achievement. This laudable exhibition followed the completion of her PhD in Latin American history.

Dr. Tuer’s colleagues regard her as a leader in her fields of study at both national and international levels. “Dot maintains both a tremendous diversity and a tremendous depth in her scholarly practice,” wrote Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences associate deans Dr. Robin Kingsburgh and Eric Nay in their nomination letter. “Her scholarly work has created value within the OCAD U community, the artistic and cultural communities of Toronto and, globally, for a number of years.”

The importance of Dr. Tuer’s scholarship in addressing Canadian and Latin American post-colonial perspectives is recognized through numerous Canada Council and Ontario Arts Council awards and SSHRC research grants. As a member of the Toronto Photography Seminar, which has been funded by SSHRC since 2007, she has pursued her research interest in photography and new media art as socially engaged practices. As co-applicant on the Canadian Consortium of Performance and Politics in the Americas — a SSHRC Partnership Grant led by Peter Kulchyski at the University of Manitoba and affiliated with the Hemispheric Institute in New York City that has just been awarded $2.5-million in funding over seven years — Dr. Tuer will play a significant role as chair of the curatorial committee and board member.

This SSHRC Partnership Grant includes OCAD U as an institutional collaborator and will offer substantial research and travel opportunities for the university’s students. This summer two OCAD U graduate students are funded through the grant to attend a course hosted by the Hemispheric Institute in Chiapas, Mexico and Dr. Tuer will join them for a capstone celebration of performance and activism. In addition, the grant will support Dr. Tuer’s participation in the Hemispheric Institute’s Encuentro hosted by Concordia University in Montreal in 2014, as well as her individual research initiatives.

For more than two decades, Dr. Tuer’s commitment to a research practice that is academically rigorous and community-based has resulted in a lengthy publication list of books, chapters in books, and essays in contemporary art magazines and refereed journals; service on public gallery boards, juries, and editorial boards; participation in research groups, public conferences, symposia, panels, and workshops; and the realization of diverse curatorial projects.  With the completion of the AGO exhibition Frida and Diego marking a watershed moment in a long and distinguished career, Dr. Tuer is at work on two new book projects, the first exploring the thematic of historical memory in Canadian art and the second the relationship of witnessing to testimony in Latin American photography.


Eagle Drum by Rebecca Belmore. Image courtesy MASS MoCA.
Knight of Infinite Resignation by Diane Landry. Image courtesy MASS MoCA.

Oh Canada, an exhibition of Canadian contemporary art by the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) and featuring prominent OCAD U alumni, opened in Atlantic Canada in time for Canada Day.

Because of its size the exhibition is spread across four galleries (Balerie d’art Louise-et-Reuben-Cohen, Université de Moncton and Galerie Sans Nom in Moncton, NB, the Owens Art Gallery, Mount Allison University in Sackville, NB and the Confederation Centre Art Gallery in Charlottetown, P.E.I). It runs from June 26 to September 21 in Atlantic Canada, and then tours to Calgary to be remounted in multiple galleries there beginning January 31, 2015.

Oh Canada was curated by Denise Markonish at MASS MoCA. Prior to the exhibition premiere in Massachusetts in 2012, Markonish traveled across Canada visiting individual artist studios to select works for the exhibition. Among the 61 Canadian artists and collectives in the show are OCAD U honourary doctor Douglas Coupland, former faculty member Ed Pien and alumni Rebecca Belmore, Shary Boyle, Kristan Horton, Garry Neill Kennedy, Michael Snow and Hans Wendt.

Not only is this one of the biggest Canadian contemporary art exhibitions ever collected outside the country, it’s also one of the most diverse and wide ranging, spanning multiple generations and all media. At the same time, Markonish, as an American, brought a fresh perspective to her selections. One of her goals was to help answer the question, “what are some of the distinguishing characteristics of art made in the country?” Markonish views the Canadian tour as an opportunity for a home turf celebration of Canadian contemporary art.

We talked to Markonish about her inspiration and intention for the show, and what it means to her to take it on tour:

OCAD U: Where did your idea for this exhibition come from, and what was it like for you to tour Canada and visit studios across the country to select works for the exhibition?

Markonish: I first came up with the idea for this exhibition in 2007 and it came from looking at the art world and realizing that I knew more artists from China than from Canada. I found this to be strange considering Canada is our nearest neighbor. I decided that I wanted to dig deeper so I embarked on an epic research project, contacting curators, gallerists and artists in Canada and eventually compiling a list of over 800 artists. Then over the course of about four years I traveled across Canada to visit 400 of them.

OCAD U: What was your focus when selecting works for the exhibition?

Markonish: Getting to see that much art along with that much of a country was a vast learning experience — in some ways I feel like I know Canada better than the US since I have seen more of it. I feel like in taking the time to see so many artists it helped me build a clear picture of the art being made across Canada and how varied it is. I didn’t have any specific criteria when selecting work, just that it was important for me that this show fit together as a whole and was an engaging exhibition of great art — that just happens to be Canadian. It wasn’t about nationalism, just as it wasn’t about the great Canadian artists with big international profiles already. I wanted there to be a sense of discovery for visitors from anywhere.

OCAD U: Did you happen to make it to OCAD U on your Canadian trek?

Markonish: I have been to OCAD U and visited with many faculty and past students. The Canadian art college system is quite impressive to me.

OCAD U: Are there any other Canadian dates and locations planned?

Markonish: Not at the moment. It is difficult for many institutions to take a show like this — 20,000 square feet with 60 artists and over 100 art works. At both the Maritimes stop and in Calgary the show is being split among four venues. In many ways this is interesting as well as it allows for venues in proximity to each other to work together. This was a great idea that came out of a conversation I had early on with Pan Wendt at the Confederation Centre in PEI who was one the first to sign on to do this show.

OCAD U: Do you plan to continue your focus on Canadian art?

Markonish: Even when this exhibition tour is complete, it will not end my engagement with contemporary Canadian art. For instance I am working on an exhibition for 2016 that Calgary-based artist Jason DeHaan will be in and in October I will be one of the curators of Nuit Blanche in Toronto, and OCAD U Faculty member Derek Liddington will be part of that.

Learn more

Oh Canada East

New York Times review